Sovereigntist Quebec solidaire members refuse to swear oath to Queen in public

QUEBEC — The 10 members elected Oct. 1 for the sovereigntist left-wing party Quebec solidaire refused to swear allegiance to the Queen publicly Wednesday as they made their entry into the provincial legislature.

Instead, they chose to swear the obligatory oath behind closed doors, away from the view of family and friends attending the ceremony.

In public, they declared their loyalty to the Quebec people, the second part of the oath required of all members of the national assembly.

Manon Masse, Quebec solidaire's co-spokesperson, called the oath to the Queen "an archaic and, frankly, unpleasant ritual."

She said making the declaration out of public view was a matter of respect for members' sovereigntist convictions. Sol Zanetti, who represents a Quebec City riding for the party, said it was "humiliating" to swear an oath that clashed with his personal convictions.

The opposition party plans to table legislation to get rid of the oath to the Queen.

Jocelyne Richer, The Canadian Press